Sunil Gavaskar makes an interesting choice for Hardik Pandya’s replacement against the Netherlands in the 20-20 World Cup 2022

Sunil Gavaskar reckons Deepak Hooda can replace Hardik Pandya in India's next match against Netherlands on Thursday.

Sam Abraham
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Sunil Gavaskar

Sunil Gavaskar: (Image Source: Twitter)

Team India started their 20-20 World Cup 2022 campaign with a 4-wicket win over Pakistan in Melbourne. The match will always be remembered for Virat Kohli’s outstanding 82-run knock in 53 balls. Apart from him, Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya also made a valuable contribution with both bat and ball. 


He picked three wickets for 30 runs in 4 overs, helping the team restrict Pakistan to 159 runs in the first innings. He was, later, involved in a century partnership with Virat Kohli, which proved instrumental in India’s 4-wicket win. The all-rounder scored 40 runs in 37 balls, including 1 four and 2 sixes before getting out in the 20th over.

The Men in Blue are slated to play their next match against the Netherlands on Thursday and they might rest Pandya in a bid to have him fully fit for the big game against South Africa. Meanwhile, legendary Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar reckons Deepak Hooda can replace Hardik Pandya in the next match on Thursday.

"If Hardik’s got a bit of a niggle, it makes sense to rest him. Because, on Sunday, against South Africa, it’s going to be a big game. So, anybody who has got a bit of a niggle, you can get them a little fresh for the Sunday game. But again, it is a T20 format and you do not want to take any teams lightly. I would like Mohammad Shami to come and bowl because he has played very little cricket. I do believe he should come in and practice," Gavaskar, who is in Australia for the ICC event, told India Today.

"If Hardik Pandya is not there, you have Dinesh Karthik coming in at number 5, and that’s why I believe that you should bring in Deepak Hooda and bat him at number 5."

Deepak Hooda is part of India’s squad and could play his first ever match in a World Cup on Thursday. 

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